2011 Chevy Volt gets U.S. EPA official rating of 93 mpge and 37 mpg

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101752011 Chevrolet Volt Production Show Car” /2011-Chevrolet-Volt-41

The official fuel economy numbers are out and pasted with the invoice in the window of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. The Chevrolet Volt is given three fuel economy ratings by the U.S. EPA: all-electric drive mode, all gasoline-drive mode, and combined energy usage of both gasoline and electric.

In 100 % pure electric mode, the Volt has an MPG equivalent (MPGe) of 93 miles per gallon. The EPA has determined this number by using a conversion in kilowatt-hours of electricity to gallons of gas. Now that is confusing. Lets see how a Chevrolet salesman tries to relate that to a potential customer in terms of saving and fuel efficiency.

We say forget about the MPG equivalent rating, and here is the raw deal. With a fully charged battery, the Chevrolet Volt has a driving range of about 35 miles, which is less than the 40 mile range GM had originally announced. And when the battery pack is energy depleted, the 1.4-liter gasoline fueled engine/generator starts to propel/generate the Volt. In the gasoline mode alone, the Volt is rated at 37 miles per gallon.

But there is also another confusing fuel rating set by the U.S. EPA, and that is the combined usage of gasoline and electric, which ends up at 60 mpg. That gives the Chevrolet Volt an official range of 379 miles, with 344 miles of that being extended range driving while using gasoline. Still confused? Don’t worry, you are not alone. According to Tony DiSalle, Chevrolet product marketing director, said, “If you try to boil it down to a single number, it gets quite difficult.”

Whatever the actual numbers are, we will see the Chevrolet Volt in action at the pumps real soon when it’s in the customers’ hands in a few months.